DefinitionA vascular ring is a defect of the aorta and nearby large vessels. The aorta is the large artery that carries blood from the heart to the body. When the aorta and nearby large vessels form in abnormal positions, the trachea and esophagus can become constricted by the “ring” formed by these abnormal vessels. Examples of this type of defect include:
- Double aortic arch
- Right aortic arch
|Heart and Aortic Arch|
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CausesVascular ring is present at birth. It is not known exactly why the heart does not develop normally.
Risk FactorsSpecific risk factors for vascular ring are not known.
SymptomsSymptoms vary and can range from mild to severe. They may include:
- Trouble breathing (wheezing, coughing, noisy breathing)
- Lung infections
- Poor feeding of solid food (vomiting or choking)
- Trouble swallowing
- Acid reflux
DiagnosisYour doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.Imaging tests evaluate the heart and other structures. These may include:electrocardiogram (EKG) is used to measure the heart's electrical activity.
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